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I just saw the question on Server Fault titled "How to make site have a Good Ranking in BING".

It had been migrated from Stack Overflow, which means that 5 high rep users thought that it belonged on Server Fault. However, I disagree .. I think that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a more DEVELOPER issue than a SYSADMIN issue.

In an ideal world, SEO doesn't exist. In the world developers desire, it is not their problem. In the world sysadmins desire, it is not their problem either. But none of those worlds exist. In the world we inhabit, SEO is real, and has to be considered by someone. Consequently, we need a place for these questions.

I would like the community to settle this, and then hopefully community decision will become policy and the moderators can enforce it.

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See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10800/… –  Shog9 Nov 25 '09 at 18:33
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Regarding your edit: we face countless problems each day. It is not, and should not be the goal of SO to solve all these problems. There are many sites dedicated to non-programming-related SEO, and and there's always Stack Exchange if someone really wants to create one that looks and feels like SO itself... –  Shog9 Nov 25 '09 at 19:43
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Yes, we need a place for those questions. However, they are outside the scope of the existing Trilogy sites. Period. It's not that they don't exist, it's that they are simply out of scope. Just as you shouldn't ask computer law questions on these sites, either. –  John Rudy Nov 25 '09 at 19:44
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Well this question is quite old and in the meantime Webmasters.SE has open and all SEO question should be asked on that site. –  HoLyVieR Jun 26 '12 at 1:52
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6 Answers

I'm of the mindset that SEO in general is probably neither, and those 5 users were just treating SF as a dumping ground.

This question absolutely doesn't belong on SF nor SU. It may be OK on SO, but frankly I don't find SEO to be as technology/programming-driven as it is marketing. There are technical aspects to it, yes, and your programming may impede or possibly help it, sure, but that's just the start of real SEO.

(A hard-core mathematician once told me that "real math starts when there are no numbers." I feel the same way about SEO: "real SEO starts when the code is taken away.")

I might have closed this question any number of ways, but migrating it was absolutely the wrong thing to do.

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Agree one hundred percent. As a developer I would prefer to ignore SEO completely (especially since it's so black-box like), but unfortunately I don't have that luxury. –  Robert Harvey Nov 25 '09 at 19:40
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But the community consensus has always been that adding "as a developer" to arbitrarily not-programming-related questions does not magically make them programming-related. As a developer, do you prefer Twinkies, Ho-Hos are a healthy salad? See what I mean? –  John Rudy Nov 25 '09 at 19:54
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In other words, marketing != programming. The programming-specific aspects of SEO are fair game for SO; everything else is kaput. –  John Rudy Nov 25 '09 at 19:55
    
as a developer, ho-hos. but as a user, i think twinkies are a healthy salad. –  quack quixote Nov 25 '09 at 20:07
    
@~quack: Thanks, yeah, I just saw my typo. D'oh. Obviously, that's supposed to say or ... :) –  John Rudy Nov 25 '09 at 20:15
    
Definitely not a sys admin issue but I have no idea how it wouldn't be a developer issue. Smaller websites sure, but try saying that when you are dealing with all the many issues that come with a site that has millions of pages. In this scenario is mission critical a developer is involved. –  user1114330 Jun 26 '12 at 1:43
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SEO questions are explicitly permitted and encouraged on the Pro Webmasters Stack Exchange:

Questions here are commonly about search engine optimization (SEO), domains, and web-hosting.

Previous answers do not mention it because it didn't exist at the time they were written; they remain relevant to the question of why SEO is not a good fit on other Stack Exchange sites.

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In my opinion, you don't develop SEO, you manipulate it. But that's my bitter experience. But IMO it would belong on SO if it was programming related to SEO. IE how do you add keywords, description or other questions relating to that. etc etc.

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SEO is definitely more marketing related, but I think it's a concern to Web Programmers, and something they should be skilled at, and aware of. That being said it doesn't really belong on stack overflow. If it were a question like "How will this style of programming affect my SEO" that is entirely different from "how can I get good SEO". I think the question is valid, but I think it's better off asked in other forums.

I try to answer SEO questions on SO when they pop up, only because it's my specialty and I like to help out, but I don't want to see SO overrun with SEO questions either. It just doesn't fit right. But it's definitely not a server admin question as it is of very little concern to them and fits even worse on SF.

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It's kinda hard to determine. You can't generally exclude SEO questions from the SO trilogy, but realistically none of them are proper. Which site is appropriate is entirely dependent on the content of the question.

Some questions are obviously SO-related; some are obviously SF-related. There aren't many SEO questions on SU, but none of them really look like they belong.

I apologize if SF feels treated as a dumping ground for such questions. As a SuperUser with vote-to-close privs, I've voted for several such questions to be migrated there. (Some of which were -- inappropriately, IMHO -- migrated to SU from SO.) Primarily, I felt that they didn't belong on SU. But I also felt that they weren't exactly not-computer-related, so migration seemed preferable to closing. I think the ServerFault community is better qualified to close the question after migration, if it's really not an appropriate question. This doesn't mean the question should have been closed on SU.

Perhaps this is just part of having three separate sites. There are some topics that fall through the cracks because they're somewhat related, but by themselves don't really belong. SEO is about marketing and advertising, but there are lots of questions about how to do that that are valid for SO and SF. (Maybe even SU; I doubt it, but it's possible.) The tricky part, as always, is determining what goes where.

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I've posted a fairly closely related community wiki, Which SEO questions should be closed as non-programming/non-admin, raising the same issue, but is more about seeking a consensus.

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